Three uncapped players named in Test squad
June 1, 2014
Malakai Fekitoa is one of three uncapped players in the 31-man Test squad © Getty Images
All Blacks Squad
All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has named three uncapped players - Malakai Fekitoa, TJ Perenara and Patrick Tuipulotu - in his 31-man Test squad for the three-match series against England. The squad was cut down from 35, and sees the return of 48-Test veteran Jerome Kaino as well as Hurricanes loose forward Victor Vito.
Steve Hansen said the All Blacks selectors had been pleased with the form of the players across all of the New Zealand Super Rugby teams.
"We would like to congratulate all the players selected for the first All Blacks squad of the year, particularly Patrick and Malakai who have been named for the first time," Hansen said. "It's an exciting time for them and their families and they can be rightly proud of their selection. They have worked hard for it. We would also like to congratulate Jerome and Victor, who are returning after an absence from the group.
"In selecting our squad, once again we have tried to balance experience and youth with form in Super Rugby and proven performances in the All Black jersey.
"England have been the most improved side in world rugby in the last two years. Their coach Stuart Lancaster has built depth in his side and a strong culture, so they will be a formidable opponent and one we are very excited about playing."
The All Blacks squad assembled in Auckland on Sunday to prepare for the first Test against England at Eden Park on Saturday.